Susan's sketchbook log: India


From Holy Water to Backwater

Kerala backwater
A big downshift, flying via Delhi down to Kochi, and then going by bus to Alleppy and boarding a houseboat to cruise the Kerala backwaters for a few days.

Squillions of coconut palms, every part of which seems to be used. A village woman showed us how you can make rope from the husk's fiber (coir) using a bicycle wheel; we drank 'toddy,' the alcohol made from the sap; and mostly we saw it in every possible form in our meals, starting with a sweet chutney over rice noodles for breakfast.

This is one of the places called the 'Venice of the East,' and it really did seem that way, with school kids ferrying across the river, and everything being transported in long narrow boats.

We walked along paths where we could, though the nightly thunderstorms were part of the system shedding huge amounts of post-monsoon season rain in the mountains, and the increased water level flooded out a lot of places, including, eventually, our landing site, so we had to wade off the boat. Hmm... perhaps a little too Venetian: shades of acqua alta!

From there, back to Kochi (Cochin) and some of its old neighborhoods, like Mattancherry (below, right) painted a rainbow of colors.

Mattancherry, KochiKerala backwater | sklog home | previous

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